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Distracted driving is a serious problem in Illinois

Do you know that someone in the United States dies approximately every 12 minutes due to car-accident related injuries? If you've ever driven on an Illinois highway at the height of the busiest traffic hours, you have likely witnessed or been involved in a few near-collisions. Whether people are rushing to or from work, or are acting under the influence of alcohol, driver negligence is often a key factor in motor vehicle accidents.

In fact, many fatalities occur because of distracted driving. Have you ever glanced at something on the side of the road, then had to quickly swerve to correct your steering? This is an example of distraction at the wheel. It is one of the most common, yet also most preventable, causes of collision. If a distracted driver hits you, it can cause injury to yourself or your family member. Such incidents often lead to litigation.

Main three categories of distracted driving

There are many types of distractions that can occur while you're driving; however, most driving distractions fall under one of three categories. The following list includes basic information about each:

  • Manual distractions occur when you take your hands off the wheel. People who eat or drink while driving, adjust radio knobs, light cigarettes or groom themselves in their rearview mirrors are under distraction and pose great risk to all nearby travelers.
  • Visual distractions are common and equally dangerous. If you look down at a cell phone screen to read a text message, it is comparable to driving blindfolded across the entire length of a football field when traveling at highway speeds.
  • Many drivers lose themselves in their own thoughts instead of paying attention to the task at hand. This is known as cognitive distraction, which also occurs when someone uses listening devices to participate in business meetings while driving, or engages in conversation with passengers or someone on a cell phone, even if the driver is not holding the phone at the time.

It takes a split-second for disaster to occur. If you adhere to traffic laws and stay alert and cautious while driving, you increase your chances of safely arriving to your destination. However, there is no guarantee that you'll be able to react quickly enough to avoid collision if a distracted driver is sharing the road with you.

When distracted driving causes you injury

After many fatal accidents, distracted drivers have told police or other officials that they never even saw the cars they hit. This is because many of them were dealing with a cognitive, manual or visual distraction at the time. As a survivor of a distracted driving accident, you may need extensive and ongoing medical care, physical therapy or household support to help you achieve as full a recovery as possible. Court-awarded compensation often helps accident victims offset the expenses associated with the incidents that caused their injuries.

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